Thursday, August 6, 2015

Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split by Anica Mrose Rissi -- ADVISABLE

Rissi, Anica Mrose Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split, illustrated by Meg Park. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014. $15.99. Content: G.

Anna knows exactly what she's going to wish for on her birthday. Only, she messes up and requests a pony -- which she knows she'll never get -- instead. And that's just the beginning of her birthday disasters. Because Anna's best friend suddenly abandons her without explanation -- and she takes Anna's new birthday necklace with her. If Anna finally learns to stand up for herself, can she fix a friendship she didn't even realize was broken?

This is an interesting beginning to a new series. Anna is a sympathetic protagonist, and I've seen similar plights from many girls her age, so the topic is definitely timely. In a world filled with books encouraging girls to constantly be nice to others no matter what, it's refreshing to see one that encourages those with doormat tendencies to grow a backbone and stick up for themselves. (Nicely, of course.) The truth is, some kids need that message, too. I only wish the ending hadn't been resolved quite so abruptly, but had lingered just a tad more on how Anna and can make her friendship work better in the future.

EL -- ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Caryn

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